If You Want To Hide Your Face Then Go Out Naked
The word is Conformity. We don’t learn a new song while everyone else wants to sing the old one. Have you ever tried to change something and met opposition from it? It happens a lot in our world when fresh ideas are presented and because it appears foreign to others they are quick to dismiss the idea presented with unjustified reasons why it won’t work or why it’s a bad idea. We often hear, “this is the way we’ve always done it, this is how we have to do it” Sounds a lot like conformity, everyone walking in the same direction, not looking to the left or to the right- just straight ahead.
Conformity can be a tough stronghold to break. We fear the repercussions from the crowd and don’t want to make waves so we shrink back into ourselves and stuff away our ideas for change and difference. This reminds me of a Twilight Zone episode titled, “Number 12 Looks Just Like You.” Rod Sterling was great about putting some pretty cool messages into his episodes. This show in particular was about when men and women reached a certain age they were expected to go through a “transformation” process which made them look and think like everyone else. A certain young girl rebelled and questioned why couldn’t she just look and act like who she was? Towards the end she gave in to pressure from those around her and did the transformation. In the end the girl came back looking and behaving…and you guessed it, just like everyone else.
Why do so many fall into the trap of conformity? Is it because of not wanting to make waves, perhaps the path is easier to just blend in? How many of us have experience criticism for expressing a new idea or a new way of doing something? What about choosing to do the right thing when those around us are happy to settle for mediocrity? Of course there are rules as a society we adhere to- I’m talking about that, I’m questioning those who want us to be like them, not wanting to stir the pot and rise to our full potential. How many people have an awesome idea they are on fire about, bursting with enthusiasm only to share it with others and discover that their reaction is like a needle poking a hole in a balloon, the results being that our thoughts and ideas have been diminished?
“Conformity is jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” ~JFK
Criticism is something you can easily avoid by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” ~Aristotle
To get out of the cycle of conformity, illuminate your own path with your unique ideas and perspectives. Following the crowd is easy and expected. Don’t match your attitudes, beliefs and behaviors to the group. Each of us have been given gifts and talents to share with others. Don’t conform. It’s more than ok to stand out. Here is a video from the old Candid Camera show. The episode is funny and brings to life the subject of conformity and individualism. Video Candid Camera
Be Your Authentic Self
Where would progress be if everyone settled? If we didn’t ask the questions and build on new ideas? The gifts and talents you bring to the world is invaluable to others. Let your unique self shine above the crowd.
Individuality comes in so many shapes, colors and forms- don’t shrink back from what you’ve been given to fit in where someone else thinks you should be. March to your own beat and produce the work you’ve been given to do.